Wednesday, 24 December 2008

10 reasons why I love Australia

1. They are metric here - no more miles, yards and ounces! This is a logical country. They still drive on the wrong side of the road, though...

2. They have good chocolate here. Ok, it is not like Milka Noisette, but chocolate is edible and at German price level. So Wolfgang, Toek and Maik fear no more: There won't be any begging letters for German chocolate from Australia.

3. They have real jogurt here - even real fat Greek yogurt. Forget about no-fat American yogurt, this is the real stuff!

4. They have other stuff than Knorr formerly known as Lipton side dishes.... ok, there still is the universal chicken flavour noodles and Spanish rice, but they have some very good stuff, too like Lime coconut rice. Also it is called Continental here instead of Lipton. And because of their huge Asian population there is a whole variety of Asian Kimchi or Thai soups or Spicy Seafood ramen.

5. They have real muesli here - everywhere. Forget about the crappy cornflakes, here they have the real rolled oats and raisin stuff in every tiny little supermarket and it is cheap, too.

6. The exchange rate is great. First it has plummeted to a low just before I came here and second it is at a very handy 1 EUR = 2 AUS$. Calculating prices is very easy.

7. Life is cheap. Most of the time I am camping, but there are backpackers and youth hostels everywhere. You never pay more than 28 AUS$ for a dorm room. Prices in supermarkets are a little bit under German level - at least in the big cities. Unfortunately prices in small towns (and this is were I am usually hiking through) can be quite steep.

8. Food choices are great in cities. I have already mentioned that but I have to mention it again. Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, Italian or Burgers - you name it and they have it. The ethnic food variety is great. And I can't remember having seen a McDonald's yet - though I am sure they have it, too. Unfortunately, in the small towns choices are pretty limited. It is mostly Fish and Chips (God bless the Queen) and I just recently discovered that I utterly dislike that.

9. They have ALDI here - and this needs no further comment.

10. People are very interesting. I have met more interesting people here in one week than in one month in the US on the AT. Australia is a very young country - much younger than the US, so I have met loads of people who immigrated themselves (instead of being second generation immigrants). Most people seem to have a very interesting life story.
There seems to be one pattern: You get an Australian boyfriend/girlfriend, you come to Australia to stay with them, you like it in Australia, you stay for 2 years, you can then apply for Australian citizenship, you become an Australian citizen....

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